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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

DVD Review: Sweet Teen

Sweet Teen (aka L’adolescente)

Italy 1976
Director: Alfonso Brescia
Writers: Alfonso Brescia (writer), Aldo Crudo (screenplay & story), Piero Regnoli (writer)
Starring: Tuccio Musumeci, Daniela Giordano, Sonia Viviani, Raffaele Sparanero, Malisa Longo, Dagmar Lassander DVD Released: April 27th 2010
Cert: NR
Running Time: 97 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame NTSC
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo Italian
Subtitles: English
Distributor: Mya Communication
Region: 0 NTSC

The Film

Welcome to scenic Sicily in the politically incorrect mid-1970s. Hapless little weasel Vito Gnaula (Tuccio Musumeci) has made the big move down from Northern Italy and spends his days sitting around al fresco with his best buds ogling the passing totty over an espresso and a well trimmed pencil moustache. When he spots the gorgeous Grazia Serritella (Daniela Giordano) wiggling her way through the market the middle-aged horndog is smitten and heads off in pursuit. Turns out she works at her father's pharmacy and is heiress to her grandfather's fortune (and company), which will be legally hers when she finally gets married. Trouble is she's a bit of a puritan so Vito has to make do with getting a sly peek at her knickers by requesting the medicine bottle from the top shelf and sending her up the ladder to fetch. Not one to give up so easily however, Vito throws himself into courting Grazia and his efforts eventually pay off somewhat with a furtive if violently frustrating sexual encounter in a cheap hotel room that ends in a shotgun wedding.

Cut to one year later and Vito's suffering from a serious case of blueballs, his marriage hasn't yet been consummated. Grazia however is fully satisfied as she's sneaking off to meet her secret lover Antonio. It seems she only married poor Vito so she could get her hands on the inheritance. But let's not cry too hard for Vito seeing as he's now living in luxury, director of a big company and has a red-headed secretary called Katia (Dagmar Lassander) who just can't get enough of the diminutive ferret, although she is a bit high maintenance to the extent that Vito's now ducking her calls and heading off for a break in the countryside. But with the introduction of his wife's niece, 19 year old Serenella (Sonia Viviani, the titular Sweet Teen) he's soon walking funny again as she parades around his house in her skimpies playing with her pussy - that's a wee kitten you dirty minded perverts! Will Uncle Vito succumb to temptation? Will he ever discover Grazia's infidelity? Will there be a Carry On style bedroom swapping runaround that ends in two naked men sharing a bed? You'll just have to watch it and see won't you!

These are low-end Italian sex farce shenanigans. Minimal budget, maximum sleaze. Not all that different from the UK output of the same period - think Confessions Of A Window Cleaner and the like. Tuccio Musumeci comes across like a human cartoon character with his excessive gurning, eye-popping and rapidly bobbing adam's apple. That's not to say it doesn't have it's funny moments though - for example Malisa Longo's all too brief appearance as a rug munching nutjob sex therapist is great but unfortunately these moments are few and far between. The interim made up of copious amounts of bare flesh may assuage your funny bone to some extent but if it doesn't stiffen your other bone then you're probably in for a long night here.

The Disc:

1.33:1 Full frame transfer looks a bit dodgy with faces sometimes being halved off screen suggesting that it really should be a slightly wider ratio. Image is a little fuzzy due to this obviously being a VHS based transfer, colours are fine if a little muted. Audio is Italian (there is quite a bit of background noise throughout) with optional English subtitles (there are quite a few little errors in the track). Bit of a disappointing presentation really.

There are better Italian sex comedies of this period but then if you're a fan you've probably seen them all, if not best start with them and leave this one for later!

Review by Giuseppe Rijitano

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